Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2007
Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
This Merlot was pumped over and punched down by hand two times per day in small stainless steel tanks. After pressing, settling and racking the various lots were moved to French barrels for aging and maturation. In the spring of 2009 following final racking, the wine was assembled and bottled and laid down in our cellars for additional development. The wine shows extraordinary complexity yet is softer and more elegant than several more recent vintages. Blending of fruit from such fantastic vineyards has produced a complex flavor profile of generous cherry, oak, spice and coffee; I pick up notes of toasted coconut and vanilla in the aroma. Rich fruit and fully mature tannins give this wine softness for drinking now yet with the proportion and structure to age well for six years or more.
Wine Enthusiast - "True to the dense, muscular style of Woodward Canyon's Merlots, this elevates the complexity in a near-perfect vintage. Deep and textural, it packs together concentrated red fruits, preserves and cassis. At first it shows a little heat from the 15% alcohol, but as it breathes open over hours (and even days) the primary fruit give way to subtle veins of olive, earth, coffee and toast. Editor's Choice"
The Wine Advocate - "Woodward Canyon's red wines begin with the 2007 Merlot. It is a multi-regional blend containing 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. The majority of the fruit was sourced from the excellent Weinbau Vineyard. Medium crimson-colored it displays an excellent bouquet of balsam wood, Asian spices, violets, cassis, and black cherry with a hint of coffee/mocha in the background. Full-bodied and generous on the palate, it has plenty of ripe fruit, red and black fruit flavors, spice notes, and well-integrated tannin. It has the structure to evolve for 1-2 years but can be enjoyed now and over the next 6-8. "
Wine & Spirits - "Merlot in the key of oak, this stylish wine leads with toffee and oak spice, guiding a background vocal of ripe plum. That fruit will need some cellar time to knit into the oak profile; then serve with roast pork and wild mushrooms."
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Woodward Canyon Winery
Woodward Canyon Winery was founded by Rick Small in 1981. He is currently soul-searching on the subject of terroir. Debating the suitability of certain varietals to certain vineyard plots has become a quandary. On the one hand, the grapes growing there do fine and are the basis for extremely successful wines (Chardonnay, mostly); on the other, would Merlot or Cabernet Franc provide even more exciting character? The evolution of the Northwest wine industry continues. View all Woodward Canyon Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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